Costly Castles in Crowfall

I must admit that I have not paid a lot of attention to Crowfall since the end of the successful Kickstarter campaign back in March of this year.

More money, we would like that!

More money please!

In part that is because a bit of Kickstarter fatigue on my own part, having backed my share to this point, and in part because I have enough problems keeping up with the games I play that keeping track of things that might see the light of day somewhere down the road is very much a secondary activity.  And the fact that I didn’t even back their campaign… again, feeling some Kickstarter fatigue, at least when it comes to “indy” MMORPGs… means I have not been getting direct mail updates that backers get.

Still, every so often something bubbles up that catches my eye, like when J. Todd Coleman said that what Crowfall really needs is Goons.

I’m sure that stirred a few people up.

(And how did we end up becoming The Mittani’s soldiers of fortune?)

Or when somebody pointed out that Crowfall was selling an $800 castle.

On sale for only

On sale for only $599!

I have to admit that such a costly item didn’t exactly raise an eyebrow for me.

Yes, we’re in what I guess one would call the post-Second Life world, where virtual real estate speculation is no longer a boom industry. (Not that Second Life is gone, but I haven’t seen it mentioned in the news for ages.  Even Lum has been quiet on that front for a long, long time.)

But in a world where Star Citizen is a thing and people are throwing money at virtual spaceships for a game that is barely recognizable as a game as yet, what is an $800 castle?

You could probably destroy a castle with this...

You could probably destroy a castle with this…

As Shaw Schuster says in that MMORPG.com post, this is sort of the place we’re at right now.  This isn’t a “cash grab” this is “crowdfunding,” where those whose enthusiasm reaches all the way to their credit card.  Whales, right?  And hey, Lord British had $4,000 towns for sale in Shroud of the Avatar at one point, though I no longer see that in the store.

Your Town Options

Towns were a bit spendy…

But there are still thousand dollar city lots (marked down from $2,100, and supplies are limited) available at the SotA add on store.

28 of 50 already sold at this price!

28 of 50 already sold at this price!

If you’d bought the town when it was available, you would have had some city lots to divvy up with your friends. (I don’t think you can real money sub-let ala Second Life.)

Anyways, it is easy to wail about the items for whales, those high priced items meant to let somebody far more free with their money than I am to “support” a given project to the fullest extent the desire.  I suppose if they give advantage in proportion to their expense, they can be considered bad.  If not, then they are at worst neutral I suppose.  I think perhaps a decent measure is how many more reasonably priced options there are available for those with more limited means.

For Crowfall, it looks like you have some choices.

Crowfall forts and keeps

Crowfall forts and keeps

Some of those seem reasonable enough, though like real estate in Silicon Valley, the prices look sure to rise for now.

I suppose the lack of fist shaking outrage at the idea of spending $800 on a virtual castle has come about because I have become inured to the idea of pricey virtual items, be they shiny spaceships or pretend towns or just splashy addons that boost the price of an expansion four fold.

Somebody out there will buy them.  It just isn’t likely to be me.

4 thoughts on “Costly Castles in Crowfall

  1. Izlain

    I think the point with Crowfall is to have a keep for your guild, and pool your money ahead of time. At least that would be semi-reasonable. Buying anything virtual for $800 is insane no matter how cool it is, because eventually you won’t have use of it anymore.

    I know my guild was checking for interest in being able to give the devs our custom artwork (guild logo) to be used in game on banners and what not, and it was pricey but not $800 pricey. I don’t think it ended up happening, but I have members in my guild that spent a lot of money on the game already to get into the super early alpha. I’m sitting in the back waiting for beta 2. And that’s fine. I have plenty to do otherwise.

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  2. Stabs

    I love the $800 castle because it’s not something I’d ever want so essentially it’s just a way for money to come into the game that I may benefit from without paying anything.

    Bless the whales.

    If it somehow turns out that the game somehow sucks if you don’t own a $800 castle then I (and 99% of their other players) will play something else instead.

    You only see outrage when people really want this stuff. One of the original cash shop dramas was over a ten dollar mount. Makes sense, you kinda need a mount.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Stabs – Yes, there is a certain amount of “well, I wouldn’t buy it in any case and if it is a requirement to buy it then I simply won’t play” going on here. But I also think that we are a bit more used to these sorts of virtual items as well, at least under the guise of funding versus outright commerce.

    And yes, I well remember Darren, Runes of Magic, and the $10 horse.

    But I do wonder if these sorts of things will come home to roost later on. When you’re just another player and have spent about the same as everybody else on a game, thinking the company should listen to you requires a sense of unrealistic entitlement. But if you’ve spent $800 on a castle, or $4,000 on a town, or however much on space ships that confer special advantages, you might be a bit more justified in thinking your voice ought to rise above the crowd and that you ought to rise above the crowd.

    Anyway, my lack of any real emotional response to this means that this post is a “let’s get back to this in a year or two and see how this worked out” sort of thing. I’m glad somebody else wants to fund the game instead of me, but how happy will they be afterwards?

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